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CBD Small Hospitality Grant FAQs

FAQs relating to the CBD Small Hospitality Grant

Please note: This fund closed for applications on 30 November 2020.

What support does the CBD Small Hospitality Grant of the Business Support Fund – Expansion (BSFe) provide?

The CBD Small Hospitality Grant supports small and medium hospitality businesses operating within Melbourne CBD that have been affected by the return to Stage 3 and Stage 4 ‘Stay at Home’ restrictions to help slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-10) in Victoria.

Eligible businesses that have received BSFe support will be provided with an additional one-off $5,000 grant (for businesses with a food service seating capacity in the CBD of 11 and up to 100 seats) or $15,000 grant (for businesses with a food service seating capacity in the CBD of more than 101 seats) to support the continued operation of the business.

Can businesses with seating of 10 or less access these grants?

No, hospitality businesses with 10 or fewer food service seats are not eligible for a CBD Small Hospitality Grant.

What businesses are eligible to apply for the grant?

To be eligible for a grant, businesses must:

  • Be a recipient of a Business Support Fund – Expansion grant and may have received an invitation to apply for a CBD Small Hospitality Grant.
  • Operate a business with an address located in the Melbourne CBD, including the postcodes 3000 (Melbourne), 3005 (World Trade Centre), 3006 (Southbank) and 3008 (Docklands)
  • Operate a restaurant, cafe, pub, bar, club, reception centre, coffee and dessert outlet, or takeaway food venue with food service seating capacity of 11 seats or more.
  • Hold a Class 2 or 3 Service Sector Certificate of Registration under the Food Act 1984 (Vic).
  • Not have received funding assistance through the Night-time Economy Business Support Initiative or the Victorian Live Music Venues Program.

Note that seating capacity must be aligned with the service of food.

Can all hospitality businesses in Melbourne CBD apply?

Businesses must be a Business Support Fund – Expansion grant recipient to apply for a grant from this program.

Can restaurants with no fixed premises, such as a tram or boat restaurant, apply for a grant?

If your restaurant does not have fixed physical premises, such as a tram or boat restaurant, you can apply for a grant from the CBD Small Hospitality Grant or Hospitality Business Grant program. The  premises’ address must be  a mooring site or dock and  located within the eligible area. Location details will be verified through the food business’ Certificate of Registration.

If you are applying for the CBD Hospitality Grant, the business' mooring site or dock must be in one of the following postcodes: 3000 (Melbourne), 3005 (World Trade Centre), 3006 (Southbank) and 3008 (Docklands).

Additionally, applicants must have the appropriate food certificate for the premises (a Class 2 or 3 Service Sector – Certificate of Registration under the Food Act 1984).

Can restaurants which are owned by hotels apply for a grant?

Restaurants which are owned by hotels are eligible for the CBD Small Hospitality Grant or Hospitality Business Grant program as long as they meet the eligibility criteria and hold the appropriate food certificate (a Class 2 or 3 Service Sector – Certificate of Registration under the Food Act 1984).

Can restaurants within food courts apply for a grant?

To be eligible for this program a business must operate premises with exclusive food service seating capacity of 11 or more seats. These seats must be for the sole use of the premises and cannot be part of a food court.

Businesses with premises in a food court that have exclusive seating are eligible to apply for the CBD Small Hospitality Grant if the exclusive seating totals 11 or more seats.

Businesses with premises in a food court that are kiosks and have shared food court seating are not eligible for the CBD Hospitality Business Grant program as these businesses do not meet the minimum seating eligibility criteria.

How do you define seating capacity?

Seating capacity is the sum of indoor and/or outdoor seating used for food service.

Note that seating capacity must be for the purpose of serving food.

To validate food service seating the Department refers to City of Melbourne CLUE data and other publicly available evidence.

It should be also noted that liquor licence capacity is not acceptable evidence of a premises seating, as the liquor licence relates to patron capacity and not food service seating.

Where in the CBD does this grant apply to?

The Melbourne CBD postcodes of 3000 (Melbourne), 3005 (World Trade Centre), 3006 (Southbank) and 3008 (Docklands).

My business is adjacent to those CBD postcodes, can I apply?

This program is targeted at Melbourne CBD businesses that are facing a large and sustained shock to their trading environments. Please check with your local council or visit our Coronavirus (COVID-19) business support page for other initiatives that may be available to you.

I have more than one business located in the designated area. Can I apply for more than one grant?

A business may only receive one CBD Small Hospitality Grant. A business is defined as an entity with an Australian Business Number (ABN). If a business has more than one hospitality premises in the CBD under a single ABN then it is able to aggregate the seat numbers from all its CBD premises for a grant under this program.

What evidence will I need to provide with my application?

Applicants will be required to provide:

  • The address of all Melbourne CBD hospitality premises operated by their business
  • The food service seating capacity of their Melbourne CBD hospitality premises. Seating capacity is the sum of indoor and/or outdoor seating
  • The registration number on the Certificate(s) of Registration issued under the Food Act 1984 by the City of Melbourne for each Melbourne CBD hospitality premises. Businesses may provide a copy of the Certificates of Registration as part of the application if available.

The above information will be checked against the information held by the City of Melbourne. Applicants must also certify that they meet all the eligibility criteria of this program. Note that all applicants will be subject to the audit requirements of the Business Support Fund – Expansion program.

What is the Certificate of Registration under the Food Act 1984 (Vic)?

A Certificate of Registration under the Food Act 1984 (Vic) is issued by local councils and will indicate the types of premises that your business operates and that your business is authorised to serve food, and physical address within the relevant location.

What types of businesses fall under a Class 2 or 3 Food Service Sector Classification under the Food Act 1984 (Vic)?

The types of businesses that fall under classes under the Food Act 1984 are set by the Department of Health and Human Services. Certificates of Registration are issued by local councils consistent with these classes.

The types of businesses that are predetermined to fall under a Class 2 or Class 3 Food Service Sector Classification can be viewed on the health.vic website.

Eligible premises for support under this grant stream include restaurants, cafes, pubs, bars, clubs, reception centres, coffee and dessert outlets, or takeaway food venues.

If you are unsure about your businesses’ classification under the Food Act 1984 please refer to your Certificate of Registration or contact your local council.

I expected to receive a $5,000 grant, however my application was unsuccessful. What can I do?

To be eligible for this program your premises must have dedicated food service seating capacity of 11 or more seats. These seats must be for the sole use of your premises and cannot be part of a food court.

To validate seating claims the Department refers to City of Melbourne CLUE seating data and other publicly available evidence.

If you believe your application has been assessed incorrectly you may reapply to the program. When you reapply, please attach evidence of the food service seating related to your premises, such as seating plan(s) and photographs with clear seating arrangements within the premises.

It should be noted that liquor licences are not acceptable evidence of seating, as these refer to patron capacity and not food service seating.

I expected to receive a $15,000 grant as I claimed to have 101 or more food service seats at my CBD premises, however only received a $5,000 grant.  Why has this happened?

Your application to the program has been successful with 11 to 100 food service seating validated.

Seating claims are validated with reference to the City of Melbourne’s CLUE seating data and other publicly available evidence.

It should be noted that patron capacity specified on liquor licences is not evidence of food service seating, as liquor licences refer to patron capacity and not food service.

Return to the CBD Small Hospitality Grant Program page

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